Manafort Not Subject to Double Jeopardy, Judge Rules

WASHINGTON (CN) – A federal judge ruled Friday that two similar counts appearing on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s indictment do not subject him to double jeopardy.

According to an order issued by Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C., federal court – where Manafort will stand trial in September – “the test for multiplicity is not whether two counts are based on the same set of facts; rather it is whether the state or elements of the two offenses are the same.”

The charges in question are related to false statements Manafort was accused of making on November 23, 2016 and February 10, 2017.

In a document he furnished to the attorney general, Manafort did not mention his meetings on behalf of the Party of Regions and Opposition Bloc, pro-Russia Ukrainian political parties.

He also misled law enforcement about whether he or his business partner Rick Gates had an agreement with the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine to provide a list of U.S.-based consultants to political interests there.

Judge Jackson acknowledged the charges featured near identical allegations.

Nonetheless, she explained that Special Counsel Robert Mueller can charge Manafort with both counts since the statements were made in two separate letters filed with the Department of Justice.

Prosecutors can charge him with making false statements generally in one letter. The other count, which connected to the second letter, was also proper since the charge specifically related to making false statements in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

In a separate filing Friday, Andrew Weissman, senior assistant to special counsel, notified Judge Jackson the government has no objection to Manafort’s proposed items for bail – his properties in Washington State and in New York.

Weissman requested the judge respond to the motion by June 4.

Manafort attorney Kevin Downing confirmed on Friday that Manafort was willing to put the properties up for bail.

Manafort’s trial in D.C. is currently scheduled for September 17.

In the U.S. Eastern District of Virginia, where Manafort is expected to stand trial for bank and tax fraud charges, Judge T.S. Ellis III pushed the trial date back from July 10 to July 24.

 

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